Game Recap: Runnin Rebels vs Boise State

Runnin’ Rebels (16-14, 11-6) | Boise State Broncos (19-11, 11-7)


UNLV caps off Senior Night with a convincing victory over Boise State, 76-66.


It was a huge celebration from beginning to end for the Runnin’ Rebels as they extend their winning streak to four games with just one last game remaining before the Mountain West Conference Tournament.

The night started with the pregame ceremony celebrated the four seniors on the team: Elijah Mitrou-Long, Nick Blair, Vitaliy Shibel, and Christopher Hall.  Everything went in the Rebels’ direction the rest of the night as they dominated for most of the game, their biggest lead being 27 points.

The Broncos made things close, bringing the deficit all the way down to nine points before UNLV ultimately won the game by ten. Junior guard Amauri Hardy led the way for the Rebels with 24 points on 9-13 (69.2%) shooting from the field and 3-6 (50%) from three. He also grabbed six rebounds and dished out five assists. Hardy also became 39th player in program history to score 1,000 points.

Sophomore guard Bryce Hamilton was right behind him with 22 points, while also grabbing eight boards. He shot 7-12 (58.3%) from the floor, 2-4 (50%) from beyond the arc, and 6-10 (60%) from the free-throw line. Hamilton has now scored in double figures in 17 straight games. Mitrou-Long also contributed 16 points on 7-14 (50%) shooting and dished out 3 assists.

For Boise State, it was senior guard Justinian Jessup who had the team-high 19 points on 5-12 (41.6%) shooting. Junior guard Derrick Alston Jr. scored 11 points on 3-10 (30%) shooting. Senior forward RJ Williams scored 10 points also shooting 3-10 (30%) from the field. Senior guard Alex Hobbs also contributed 10 points shooting a slightly better 3-9 (33%) from the floor.


The Runnin’ Rebels made sure to get their revenge on Boise State after losing to them earlier in the season, 73-66. That loss to the Broncos on Jan. 8 ended the Rebels’ four-game winning streak at a time where they started conference play at 3-0.


Runnin’ Rebels head coach TJ Otzelberger was pleased with his team’s defensive efforts for most of the game.

“I thought our defense was suffocating in those first 30 minutes,” said Otzelberger. “Guys really communicated and did a great job playing for each other defensively. It allowed us to get out and play with pace. As a coach, you always want your team to play at their best, regardless of what the score says. Certainly, there were some moments there late that we didn’t do the best job of that. It is another learning opportunity. Overall, in this key game, especially coming off of the win Saturday, proud of how our guys approached it.”

With this win, UNLV is now currently on another four-game winning steak as they head over to finish the regular season against San Jose State.

In their meeting earlier in this season on Jan. 15, the Rebels’ got the 98-87 victory, which was their highest point total of the season at the time. Heading into this next game, SJSU currently has a dismal record of 7-22 (3-14 in the MW) and 11th (2nd to last) in the conference.

UNLV now sits at fourth place in the conference standings, just one game back behind Utah State and UNR. The Rebels have now beaten every team in the conference at least once except for in-state rival UNR. Most importantly, with this win, the Runnin’ Rebels have a clinched a top-five seed in the conference tournament, which means they will receive a first-round bye into the quarterfinals.


The Mountain West Conference Tournament will start next week on Wednesday, March 4.


Before then, the Rebels have one more game to play against San Jose State on Saturday, Feb. 29, at 2 pm. The game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet and can be listened to live on ESPN Radio 1100 AM.

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Runnin Rebels vs Boise State


Isaiah Torres

Twitter: Isaiah_Torres24


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